January is quite a nice time at the vineyard with what seems to be the lunch break, or change of innings as we move into the second half of the growing year. October and November often causes a few sleepless nights wonder if and when Jack Frost is going to pay you a visit. December is all about flowering and the fruit set, which gives you your first indication of yields as well as harvest timings. We had a nice even fruit set which should mean we can harvest in one go.
So onto January, while most people are at the beach and taking a break from the vines are quietly going about their business growing their berries. We are fairly hands off at this time, bunches are starting to form and the vines are growing up over the wires. We usually grow about an inch a week so you barely notice the place if your away for a few weeks. The vineyard is also about the only greenery in the area as the dry central Autumn and early Summer take all the moisture out of the ground. We irrigate each night which gives the vines plenty of water to grow, often this leaves the vineyard a little messy looking with shoots and leaves all over the vines.
We’ve just gone through and put everything into a sense of order. Tucking, trimming and plucking some of the heavier sections is setting the vineyard up for the best chance of getting the sunlight and heat required to ripen our grapes. It also makes the vineyard and rows look nice and picturesque. We are probably 2 or 3 weeks away from veraison, which is when the grapes change colour and start to look like a Pinot Noir vineyard. We’ll also get a feel for the size of the crop in the next 7 days, this then allows us to make decisions about what we’ll produce both quantity but also style.
It looks we’ll product the same wines as previous years but seeing that our Rose and Pinot Gris have all but sold out already we’re going to have to increase production in order to keep everyone happy.
Enjoy the rest of summer!